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The Importance of a Moment in Time

Discussion in 'Personal Blogs Links' started by IMPhotography, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. IMPhotography

    IMPhotography Premium Member

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    Good evening everybody,

    How are you?

    I have a new blog post up that I thought I would share, discussing the parallel between life and art and the importance of capturing that perfect moment when out shooting:

    Please login or register to view links

    I hope everyone is doing well! :)

    Cheers,

    Ian
     
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  2. David Schneider

    David Schneider Premium Member

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    I'm a full time portrait photographer, studio owner, and frequent traveler/photographer, though I've done things like 7 years of sports photography, some weddings, other things. I come from a family of artists.

    I believe most of the time when people talk about "art" and photography in the same breath, they are mistaken. I believe photographers want to be considered artists when they are not.

    The overwhelming amount of time, excellent photography is about being an excellent craftsman, not a wonderful artist. The number of true artists with a camera is very limited. Most of the time (though not all of the time) we are craftsmen. The article bears this out when talking about finding the perfect moment. There is little difference in waiting for the perfect moment and then clicking the shutter or taking 10 frames a second for two minutes and then selecting the perfect moment from those images.

    I am not discounting the need for some art or artistic ability, but the need to be a good craftsman is more important in photography. For the vast amount for what we do, we are craftsmen 75% of the time (at a minimum, more like 90% really) and the remainder is a combination of "art" with a sprinkling of occasional good luck. Again, those who are true artists with a camera are rare, though we will all produce something we'd like to think of as "art" from time to time. I'm not sure that is much more than the blind squirrel occasionally finding a nut.

    I've had this conversation several times with my studio framer, who has a PhD in art. I think last time we compromised at 60/40 craftmanship/art. Your mileage may vary and no one will prove you wrong.
     
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  3. IMPhotography

    IMPhotography Premium Member

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    Hello David,

    Many thanks for such a detailed comment. For me, I believe that becoming skilled at our craft enables us to be artists (so I do think there is a balance for sure). You mentioned the concept of spraying and praying, versus knowing when the best time is to click the shutter.... I would probably still put both of those approaches into the craftsman category to be honest. In many ways I think the "art" of photography comes well before a shutter is ever clicked. To me the art is the creative vision, be it that of a portrait photographer assembling a team to produce a final look they have in their mind, or a street photographer who sees a composition materialize in front of their eyes for a few fleeting seconds that others would simply walk right past.

    To use an analogy: I am also a musician, and worked professionally as one for about 8 years. I knew guitarists who spent 4 hours with a metronome each day, running scales and perfecting technique. They were monsters when it came to reciting other people's music, but they were 100% unable to create anything new. Because of this, I always considered them to be technicians much more than artists. I think the same concept applies to photography to a degree.

    Much more importantly, however, I feel that photography is a wonderful and diverse thing that can be approached from so many different perspectives. It really is all good and I thank you again for sharing your thoughts.

    Cheers,

    Ian
     
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  4. AdrianG

    AdrianG Premium Member

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    100% agree with @David Schneider s comment. I think I could settle for 1 per million, rather than a few percent. I personally think I took a few brilliant shots I am proud of and of which I know only a relatively small percentage of photographers could have succeeded in taking them, but I never created a work of art, nor did I even try.
    I think for some artists using photography as a medium that is true, but I’m convinced that there‘s a good portion where the craftsmanship is no major factor.
     
  5. Anymouse02

    Anymouse02 Premium Member

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    The argument between , "Craftsman" and "Artist" are just words subject to interpretation. More important is does it feed your soul and not your ego!
     
  6. JRick

    JRick Premium Member

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    disclaimer : i haven't read the link so don't know what you are talking about. (philosophical musing or providing hints/tips based on your experiences, etc)

    i feel craftsmanship vs art definitely applies to photography too and is relatively easy to explain
    from my experience, what i see is that altho i feel artists are born, they master a craft first and then apply it to their 'artistic' sense. it's rarely the other way around. examples are plentiful in many genres
    - how much more 'craft' is required to master a camera vs fingers, paint brush, chisel, welder, etc., will probably always be debated

    spending a lot of time trying to capture (an anticipated) moment seems like a waste of time to me vs creating that moment thru a lens. capturing seems more time intensive than creating, but that's just my take. and i have seen many photos here where the comment "nice capture" is made, but the photo shows zero 'artistic content' :)
    - i actually started a thread one time on capturing vs creating :)

    i try to shoot creatively, but i'm DEFINITELY no artist and my craftsmanship still needs a lot of work. but i feel strongly the more i can master my tool, the more artistic my shots will be //LOL//
    - from my experience around new photographers (camera clubs), the easier it is for a camera to make a decent shot the less people practice mastering it

    last but not least....i feel that many of the recognised artists who we are all familiar with became that way thru luck, being in the right place at the right time....or they had great marketing assistance or agents. some artists never seek recognition at all :)
     
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  7. Tilphot

    Tilphot Premium Member

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    My experience is that the more pictures I take, the better I'm getting at it. This applies especially to street photography, when you simply won't get "the moment" when you're not constantly honing your skills. Interestingly, I often do know which picture will be the real deal the moment I'm pressing the shutter. But I doubt I would have been able to take it without the not-so-great-ones I've taken prior to it.
     
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  8. David Schneider

    David Schneider Premium Member

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    I believe the same. Too many think they are "artists" when they haven't mastered (and sometimes haven't learned) the basics, the foundation, the building blocks of photography.
     
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  9. AdrianG

    AdrianG Premium Member

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    It‘s not an argument, everyone is free to define art for themselves or call themselves artists.
     
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  10. David Schneider

    David Schneider Premium Member

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    I would add, sometimes it has to do with feeding your family too, not just your soul or ego. As someone who makes living with photography, the bills must be paid. All of my artist family members have bills that must be paid too.
     
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  11. YogiMik

    YogiMik Premium Member

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    +1
    I'd not put this better than that above . . .
    An art is luxury, that in 99% of cases doesn't pay the bills. You've got to do something for the money, in order to finance your true passion.
    I'm talking to you . . . true artists from the heart, inspired from beyond the mind, and within . . . those acting from the mind alone . . . are craftsmen.
     
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  12. AdrianG

    AdrianG Premium Member

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    True craftsmen are just as enthusiastic, driven and inspired doing their job as artists and true artists are just as industrious as craftsmen. It is easier to live off craftsmanship because people need stairs and windows and toilets, but they can decorate their homes with cheap posters or their own creations.
     
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  13. johant

    johant Premium Member

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    Mondrian kept painting flower portraits and landscapes for quite some time, because they supported his living. His true heart was in abstract art, and capturing the essence of his surroundings in his work.

    Were the flower paintings work of an artist or of a craftsman? He painted those (and several portraits) for a living, more than as a means to express his ideas and feelings. On the other hand, it is clear he put creativity in them, and made each of them unique.

    When do we call someone a craftsman, and when is he an artist?
     
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